Nuadha's Tale

Ignorance can be tolerated, where reason is left free to combat it. -Thomas Jefferson

Monday, June 30, 2003

Anoki, my Amberite character, who was raised in a society like Native Americans is always telling stories to ilustrate points. (He is a shaman/storyteller for his people, so this comes natura for him.) Luckilly, most of the play in the game is by email, so I don't always have to come up with his stories on the spot. Last year, I was reading some Lakota stories and some Buddhist parables when he needed to tell some of these stories, so they came pretty natural. I just wrote this one for a reply today. I wrote it quickly and haven't been reading as much lately, so I don't think it's up to his usual standard, but felt I should share it for the people who read my blog that were in MK's previous game. (Anoki's father was Alexander, my PC in MK's "Methuselah's Children," and this story in particular ties to that background.)

From the email:

"There is a story among the Anishinabeg about how the village fire went out and the Raynay died. It is said that the bird-people were given powers by a sacred pattern of fire. They could fly through the world tree and, with their mind set on what they were looking for, they would always find the branch they were seeking. Noone was sure how the fire gave them that gift. Some would say that the world tree, recognizing the power of the fire, would grow new branches to please the birds, while others argued that the tree guided them to a branch that was already there. Only one person truly understood the fire, Raven, who stole the Serpent's Eye from the beasts countless winters before. Raven was old and his mind was fragile. He had spent so many years tending the sacred fire, that the fire was all he knew. He had tried to teach the others about the sacred fire, but none of them would listen. They were too busy exploring the world tree."

"One day, Raven was gone...and noone noticed. Life went on, and the sky-kingdom was happy. Then, one day, the fire went out. The birds gathered and tried and tried to relight the fire, but noone knew how. The village grew cold without the fire and the birds panicked. They fled through the world tree looking fo help. Raynay, a small bird with golden feathers, was never known for his bravery. So noone expected him to leave, but Raynay, clutching his few belongings, went to the most dangerous place any bird would ever think to go. He flew to the very bottom of the tree to the village of the beasts. Luckilly for the bird people, one of the beasts, a friend of Raven's from the days before the war between beasts and birds, was able to help the bird people. A beast as wise as Raven, a deer with wings offered to help them, but he had not forgotten how Raven had fooled his brother, serpent, years before. This winged deer, Peryton, demanded a great sacrifice for his help, a price so great that no bird would ever think to pay it. Peryton demanded that one of the birds tear off his wings and stay with the beasts. That bird would offer himself as the meal at the next great feast. Raynay, this most selfless bird, made the sacrifice and the village was saved, but at what cost?"

Sunday, June 29, 2003

Random Questions Meme
(Via Eternal Eponine)

1. What's your favorite cheese?
Sadly, nothing more exciting than American. Sure, I like other cheeses but to me American Cheese is the proper flavor.

2. How long do you hold onto odd socks before giving up on finding their mate?
A long, long time.

3. Who was your favorite musical artist when you were 15? (You can only pick one)
15? I think that was about the time I got into Iron Maiden.

4. What shape are your fingernails in right now?
Fingernail shaped?

5. Two scoops: of what?
Chocolate Ice Cream

6. What's your earliest memory?
Christmas- about 1978. Three years old, I woke up early (as I did a lot when I was a kid) and wandered out into the living room to see the McDonaldland train set Santa had left under the tree.

7. When does your pet look funniest?
My dogs look funny a lot. It would be hard to narrow it down.

8. What do you collect?
Comic Books- Although, I'd never actually refer to myself as a comic collector, I do buy them to read and then end up holding on to most of them. I don't consider myself a comic collector because I never worry about completing sets or putting them in bags and boards. I buy whatever title catches my fancy. Currently- Green Arrow, New X-Men, JLA, The Outsiders, Green Lantern
Books- Same as above.
Video Games- I recently started buying old Sega Genesis games and ended up with a collection of over 50 games just for the Genesis.
Gaming Miniatures- (Games Workshop, Reaper, Chainmail, Heroclix) I haven't been buying many these days.
Action Figures- I quit buying these a while back because I haven't the room for them, but I have an almost complete collection of Final Fantasy figures and a ton of superhero figures, including a bunch of the old Superpowers line from the early eighties that I picked up off eBay.

9. What's better than sex?
I'd have to think about this one. (Edit-Got it! Knowing your loved and loving that person in return.)

10. What things are you brand-loyal to?
Apple Computers is the only thing I can think of, but that's less about brand-loyalty and more about hating Microsoft.

11. Favorite Dr. Seuss book?
Green Eggs and Ham.

12. Best meal you've had lately?
Pizza. I love Pizza.

13. Peanut Butter and ________?

14. Who's your favorite poet?
Jim Morrison, Lord Byron or Lewis Carroll

15. Where are you going on vacation this year?
We were going to try to go to Amberocn NW in Portland but that idea is seeming less and less likely.

16. If you could change careers tomorrow with no strings attached, what would you be?
If I could be guaranteed a paying, steady job doing it? Stage Acting. I don't think I've ever felt more alive than when I've been acting on stage.

17. Whaddya drive?
A Green Sunfire

18. What's your poison?
Arsenic. If you put it in the Elderberry wine, they can't even smell it. One nice gentleman even said how much he liked it before he died.

19. The color of the carpet or the kind of floor in the room you are sitting in right now.

20. What's on your walls?
At work- a calender with pictures of Ireland, a stamped wall scroll Carla made, a card with a celtic knot and dragons, a few comic strips, and of course stuff I need for reference.
At home- Two Asian prints in the living room, a poster for Camelot in the computer room, a Kucharski print in the hallway (I can't remember which one) and an ink drawing by Michael in the living room of a cat.

Monday, June 23, 2003

I don't think this poll is too accurate.

2004 Presidential Candidate Selector
Your Results:

1. Green Party Candidate (100%) Click here for info
2. Kucinich, Cong. Dennis, OH - Democrat (89%) Click here for info
3. Socialist Candidate (75%) Click here for info
4. Kerry, Senator John, MA - Democrat (71%) Click here for info
5. Gephardt, Cong. Dick, MO - Democrat (66%) Click here for info
6. Sharpton, Reverend Al - Democrat (63%) Click here for info
7. Jackson, Cong. Jesse Jr., IL - Democrat (62%) Click here for info
8. Leahy, Patrick Senator, Vermont - Democrat (62%) Click here for info
9. Lieberman Senator Joe CT - Democrat (60%) Click here for info
10. Edwards, Senator John, NC - Democrat (59%) Click here for info
11. Dean, Gov. Howard, VT - Democrat (58%) Click here for info
12. Feingold, Senator Russ, WI - Democrat (52%) Click here for info
13. Biden, Senator Joe, DE - Democrat (49%) Click here for info
14. Moseley-Braun, Former Senator Carol IL - Democrat (47%) Click here for info
15. Graham, Senator Bob, FL - Democrat (46%) Click here for info
16. Kaptur, Cong. Marcy, OH - Democrat (45%) Click here for info
17. Feinstein, Senator Dianne, CA - Democrat (35%) Click here for info
18. Libertarian Candidate (25%) Click here for info
19. Bradley, Former Senator Bill NJ - Democrat (20%) Click here for info
20. Bush, George W. - US President (7%) Click here for info
21. McCain, Senator John, AZ- Republican (6%) Click here for info
22. Hagelin, John - Natural Law (5%) Click here for info
23. Buchanan, Patrick J. – Reform/Republican (1%) Click here for info
24. Phillips, Howard - Constitution (-2%) Click here for info
25. Vilsack, Governor. Tom IA - Democrat (-4%) Click here for info
26. LaRouche, Lyndon H. Jr. - Democrat (-8%) Click here for info
27. Clark, Retired Army General Wesley K "Wes" Arkansas - Democrat (-8%) Click here for info

I knew that the Dems have been talking about running a little more conservative candidates this year to insure that noone can tell the difference and they lose the election, but there is something seriously wrong with Bush ranking higher than several Democrats.

I probably got Green first because of my concern for environmental issues, but I differ from their party platform on a few major issues.

A few problems with this poll is that the Greens are seriously not talking about running a candidate this next election and there are actually several different Socialist parties and from what I've been hearing, only one is going to run a candidate. Many on the left are saying that "anyone is better than Bush" and that they wouldn't want to possibly take votes away from the Dems, even if it means we end up with someone like Leiberman.

Sunday, June 22, 2003

Quote of the Day- The Poetry of D. H. Rumsfeld
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there is also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know we don't know.

-Donald Rumsfeld, Feb 12, 2002, Dept. of Defense news briefing

Friday, June 20, 2003

Quote(s) of the Day
Have a surplus and a booming economy? Bush has the answer: Tax cuts for the Rich!
Have a deficit and a failing economy? Bush has the answer: Tax cuts for the Rich!

On matters economic, Bush is monomaniac with a bad idea, a doctor who prescribes the same all purpose snake oil no matter what the ailment.
-Harold Meyerson, "Squandering Prosperity" The American Prospect, June 2003

This country is big enough to experiment with several diverse systems and follow several different lines. Why must we put our economic policy in a single systemic straightjacket?
-Franklin Delanor Roosevelt to advisor Adolph Berle.

The Hulk
Flipped through some reviews. They are mostly good. (I saw one bad review and several good ones) Now, I really want to see it.

This weeks WISH asks:

Robin Laws identifies several types of gamer in his book of GM tips: The Power Gamer, the Butt-Kicker, the Tactician, the Specialist (plays one type only), the Method Actor, the Storyteller (plot and pacing fan), and the Casual Gamer. Which of these types do you think you are, and why? Most people aren’t pure types, so multiple choices are OK.

I like coming up with bizarre characters and making them work. In many ways, I could be a "method actor", except I don't actually do a lot of acting. I'd like to, but usually when I get together to game, I am so tired from everything else that I don't feel like "getting into a character." Still I try to have some of my character's personality come through in what he's doing I guess I could be a mixture of "method actor" and a type I'd like to add, a "tinkerer." I love tinkering with the rules and character generation to come up with new powers and abilities (one of the things I like in Champions), but I don't approach the rules from a "power gamer" angle. My characters are not built to "win." Instead they have just been tinkered with to do something different. Besides my character sheet, I like to build up my characters place in the world. I also love to explore the unexplored corners of the world, the elements of the setting that may not be currently integral to the plot, but I find interesting...because I want to know how the GM's world works.

As a GM, I know that the tinkerer aspect comes through a lot. In any diced system I have ever ran, I've felt the need to tinker with the rules and improve any flaws I felt were there. (GMing White Wolf games have kept my hands full because the games are so flawed.) I also tinker with the worlds. I'm constantly creating new elements of the game world, many of which may never come out in-play. If it's a published setting, like White Wolf, I immediately put my own twist to it...something to make the world more to my...and hopefully my player's likings. I know that this can be a downfall of mine. My world often end up so complicated that I have problems keeping everything straight. How can my players ever hope to?

I've been thinking about starting an Amber campaign lately. As much as I've played and GMed Amber-system games, I've never run a game set in the Amber universe, besides two one-shots I ran at Ambercons that were hardly typical Amber games. (One was a light-hearted LARP, "Amberites and the Chaosians Who Love Them,"and the other, "The Heist" was a game where players were not Amberites but thieves attempting to steal the Jewel of Judgement from the Amberites.) One of the thing that I've realized is that Amber would give me both an unlimited world tinkering potential with all of shadow to play with along with a strong centralized focus- Amber. It also gives me a system that I wouldn't need to tinker with and would allow me to just focus on the story ideas. I've come up with a really strong plot idea.

The problems with running an Amber game is that many of my Amber playing friends are getting tired of playing least in the Amber setting. Many of them have been in campaigns that have lasted for years, myself included, and want something new. There is always the option of using the Amber system to run something in a setting that is equally open, but something new. Moorcock's Multiverse comes to mind. No suprise there. Of course, there is also Nobilis. I could run a game that focuses less on earth and more on the world tree as a whole. The problem is that I haven't hit on a really good idea for an ongoing Nobilis gampaign. I have a whole ton of one-shot plot ideas, but when I try to think of something that could be made into an interesting ongoing campaign for a bunch of minor gods, I pull a blank.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Quote of the day
If only the president of WorldCom had been caught growing marijuana, then the Justice Department would have really thrown the book at them. Or if Ken Lay and Saddam Hussein had tried to get married in Texas -- man, they'd be behind bars so fast your turnstiles would blur. Maybe next time.
— Jon Carroll

Hate new blogger editing screens. I hope this is temporary.

There's a fine line between...
...a riot and a revolt. From everything I've heard, the situation in Benton Harbor has been a long time coming. Of course, the news, as it always does, almost ignores the reasons behind the "riots" and makes it sound like all the injuries...the numbers...are the doing of the "rioters." How many of these injuries have been caused by overzealous police officers? We don't know.

From an AP article, one of the few I've seen that gave any reasons besides the motorcycle chase:

Residents interviewed earlier Tuesday said Benton Harbor's problems were the result of years of police harassment.
"We're tired of it now. We're tired of it," Antonio Cornelius, 21, said Tuesday morning. He said he happened on the scene about midway through the first night's riots.
His cousin, 11-year-old Trenton Patterson, was struck on a sidewalk and killed in September 2000 during a pursuit involving police from nearby Benton Township, the same department that was pursuing Shurn.

Let's get this straight. That's not "harrassment." That's murder.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

The Matrix Reloaded- the abridged script
This is funny. Spoilers. Don't read if you haven't seen Matrix Reloaded.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

The Hulk
I read this interesting article on the Hulk movie. I am, of course, really looking forward to this movie. I had some worries about the cartoony look of the big green guy, but the more I see of the animation, the more I think that it will be even better animated than Gollum was. It bothers me that Hollywood had Ang Lee cut out a lot the more character driven scenes to focus on the action because those have been the scenes that look the most interesting, but I guess that gives me something to look forward to on My main concern now is this= Ang Lee never read the comics. The last superhero-movie director I remember saying that he never read the comics was Joel Schumacher- the director of Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

Friday, June 13, 2003

Top Ten List
Flipping through a Sci-Fi/Fantasy magazine, I read today that Sci Fi Book Club has made their own top 50 list of most significant Sci-Fi/Fantasy books. I love these lists. They magazine only listed the top ten, referringt you to their website for the rest. I couldn't get find it on their website,, but here are the top ten from the magazine:

1- Lord of the Rings (Yawn. No suprise there; the most overrated series of books ever. They refer to it as the book that started the fantasy genre which isn't even true. Still, it's the most imitated fantasy series.)

2- The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

3- Dune by Frank Herbert

4- A Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

5- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin

6- Neuromancer by William Gibson

7- Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke

8- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick

9- The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

10- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I've read (or attempted to read) most of these and I mostly agree. I wouldn't even argue with LOTR being on the list. This reminds me that I was going to use that one top 100 list to make a reading list, since most of "the great Sci-Fi novels" have been boks that I've really enjoyed and if it's making lists, I should try it. I've never read AWizrd of Earthsea, but it always seems to score high on these lists, so that may be the next book I pick up.

In related news, Robert Asprin is finally releasing a new Myth book that will continue the story where it left off years ago.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

As more information keeps coming out about how Americans and the world were (gasp!) misled about weapons of mass destruction a new word has shown up on the web: WMD-gate.

(edit- just serached and the word is already showing up in "legitamite" news sources.

My blogger looks funny.....

Wednesday, June 04, 2003

Role Call
What are three movies whose mood and/or situations you’d like to emulate in a roleplaying game, and why?

Well, this is what I lost yesterday. So, I'm typing it up again.

The Matrix OK. This one's a bit obvious for me. The feel that I try to emulate from the Matrix is the pacing. The slow buidl up at the beginning...the little bit of philosophy and foreshadowing of things to come....revelations....and the big explosive ending. I think I did a pretty good job in the "Morpheus Calling."

Dark City I use this movie as an example of a style of movie, which includes Fritz Lang's Metropolis, Batman, The Crow and Bladerunner. In those movies, the visual style gives the city a life of it's own and the background, the city, actually feels like a character in the movie. This is how I want "The Dreaming City" (link to the right) to feel. I hope that I've managed that a little in the Dreaming City games I've run. This was also some of the feeling that I was going for in "The Kingdom of Lost Children," although I think I was less successful there.

Record of Lodoss War OK. So, Ginger already mentioned this one and it seems kind of cheap to use someone elses idea, but I have to completely agree with her choice. Record of Lodoss War is an anime that I've often described as everything I've ever wanted out of a D&D game. A group of different characters band together on an epic quest to save their homeland. The mix of character types never seems forced like it seems in some of novels I've read. The story is excellent and the "NPCs" (Ashram, Pirotesse...) are very interesting without overshadowing the heroes.

Quote of the Day
The First Amendment protects freedom of the press because the press is supposed to be the eyes and ears of the people. The Founders didn't envision a time when media were just another business cozying up to government -- a business that is cheaper to run as a monopoly. It's cheaper, too, if you don't pay for independent reporting.
-Shiela Suess Kennedy, from this opinion piece in the Indianapolis Star (which is actually considered a conservative newspaper)

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

OK. Lesson learned. If I need to open up soemthing on the internet in another window, I need to post (without publishing), so I don't lose my post. I opened another window and clicked a link and it opened up in the window I had blogger open in. When I back-paged to the Edit Blog screen, my post was gone...lost to oblivion.

Damn it! I just lost a big 'ol post! Argh!

It'll probably suck, but....
I'm still excited. They're making a movie based on the PS2 game "Devil May Cry." It's true that past movies based on video games have given the world "Street Fighter" and "Double Dragon," but I think this will be different. PS2 games are so cinematic that they are practically movies already. They should be very easy to translate well into a decent movie. Besides, Tomb Raider wasn't that bad. I mean, I have no interest in seeing "Tomb Raider" again, but I enjoyed seeing it once. That's a big step over "Street Fighter." ( In case anyone's wondering, I'm aware that I should be underlining movie titles and not just quoting them, but it's several more keystrokes to put in html code for an underline than just putting in quotation marks. Of course, now I just used way more keystrokes explaining my incorrectness than I saved by not underlining. Oh well.)

Why so quiet, Nuadha?
I have more time and energy to blog lately, so why haven't you been hearing much from me...besides the occassional quote? I'm not sure. I just don't feel that I have much to say, for one thing. Also, I'm trying to spend my free time teaching myself wonderful little DOS. I missed the whole DOS generation. Mired in by backwards world of Commodore 64 and the wonderful world of Basic, I never did much with DOS and by the time I started really using PCs, Windows was so common that the only DOS command I needed to learn was "WIN."

In other news- I played in a few Heroclix tournaments recently and quickly realized that I don't like "serious" play as much. When people play to win and only to win (we always play to win a little bit...), the game really sucks. I may try playing in a few more tourneys sometime, but I have no doubt that Heroclix works best as a casual "beer 'n'pretzels" game played amongst friends. So, I played in a few games of Magic: The Gathering in the last couple of weeks as with Neil and Eric after the rest of our usual Champions group had to cancel and one after one of the Heroclix tournaments at The Underworld. Neil was there playng some Magic with soem people and invited me in to borrow one of his decks. Paper crack is right. You can quit playing but it's easy to get sucked back in. The thing that I enjoyed is that Magic is a relatively balanced game compared to Heroclix. HC is still new, so they are still working a lot of bugs out of the game, but the new Magic sets have been designed by people based off of years of experience. They know what works and what doesn't. So, having had so much fun with those games, I told Carla aout them and we ran out to pick up a new deck. We won't be spending much money on cards like we did years ago...because we don't have disposable money like we had years ago....but, we're playing magic again.

Reading my last post, I keep picturing Jim Gordon giving Batman a lecture about worrying him. It's amusing me.